Mountain Logo
Ascender Title
November 2010
Volume 16, Issue 11


Joel on the observation tower on Timms Hill, WI


Jason en route to Mt. Arvon, MI


The view from near Mt. Arvon


Jason at Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota


November 7-9, 2010
Report and photos by Joel Brewster

A mountaineering adventure it was not, but an adventure it was nevertheless.

Back in the warm days of summer, I concocted this scheme in which my friend, Jason, and I could fly back to Milwaukee, go see the Cowboys-Packers game Sunday night, then drive up to visit Mt. Arvon, Eagle Mountain and Timms Hill, the state highpoints of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin respectively. Originally I planned to include Illinois as well, but it is on private property and they only allow access on 4 weekends of the year!

The scheduling had the following constraint - Jason had only 3 days off work! Therefore, it was a whirlwind tour taking a red-eye flight from Las Vegas to Milwaukee Saturday night. Since the time changed from daylight savings back to standard while we were in the air, we arrived an hour earlier. I'm sure Jason's parents were happy about that as they picked us up at the airport at 4 am instead of 5 am!

We got a few hours of sleep at his parents' house in Milwaukee before beginning our 1,300-mile journey. We drove the two hours up to Green Bay Sunday afternoon. If any of you football fans out there ever get the chance, visit Lambeau Field. It is an unbelievable environment, steeped in tradition. We had time to take a tour of the Packer Hall of Fame before kickoff.

Jason posing at Vince Lombardi's desk in the Packers Hall of Fame

The game was fun (for Packer fans), but not competitive, as the Packers walloped the Cowboys 45-7. Incidentally, the Cowboys were so embarrassed on national TV that they fired their coach the next day! After the game we drove several hours to reach the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, staying in the small town of L'Anse, MI.

Our motel in L'Anse, MI. Note the worker on the roof; he was also the front desk clerk.

The Hilltop Motel, in which we stayed, was quite small. When I had called to make the reservations, I was informed that since we were arriving after hours, "the key would be in 18." We later learned that meant the key would be in the door of room 18...we just walked right in! In the morning, after breakfast at a quaint coffee shop, we headed out onto a maze of dirt roads to find the highest point in Michigan.

The drive was by far the most difficult part as we "hiked" the final mile to reach Mt. Arvon at 1,978 feet. There was a nice monument and register to sign. Although the view from the summit wasn't much, there was a nice overlook a hundred yards or so away.

Joel at the roof of Michigan

From there, we retraced our steps and prepared for a long, but very scenic drive along the southern edge of Lake Superior through Michigan and Wisconsin, then turning and following the north shore of the lake into northern Minnesota. As we drove along the lake, we passed many picturesque small towns, and absorbed much local culture listening to the radio. We determined hunting and drinking are the two major pastimes of the area, not necessarily in that order.

We stayed Monday night in the small town of Lutsen, MN. I found the people to be the friendliest anywhere I've ever been and the countryside to be beautiful. If it weren't for the unforgiving winters there, it would be a great place to live! Speaking of weather, we experienced great weather - sunny and unseasonably warm (highs in the 50's). We were very lucky as the following weekend they got two feet of snow! We would never have been able to reach our highpoints on the backwoods dirt roads if we had been there a few days later.

Tuesday morning, we got an early start on Eagle Mountain (2,301 ft.), highpoint of MN. It was wonderfully scenic hike and enough to burn off a few of the calories from the heavy food we had been eating. The hike was about 7 miles roundtrip, but until the last half-mile it was very flat. Along the way we passed Whale Lake, which had a thin layer of ice on part of it. We saw a beaver swimming back and forth, presumably building a dam, and we heard several elk along the way.

Whale Lake on the way to Eagle Mountain. Notice the two black specks on the lake - those are small rocks we threw out onto partially frozen lake!


Nice view along the way to Eagle Mountain

The summit had a plaque and a register and we took a break to finish off some Halloween candy! We didn't linger too long as we had a long drive to reach the Wisconsin highpoint before dusk, when they lock the access gate.

After a long day of driving like crazy to make it, we arrived right at dusk, but were happy to find the gate still open. We made the short hike up to the summit of Timms Hill (1,951 ft.) in near-darkness (I actually used my headlamp), climbed the observation tower, took a few photos, and were off. As we were leaving, they were locking the gate - perfect timing!

From there, we drove back to Jason's parents' house in Milwaukee, stopping at Real Chili, an awesome Cincinnati-style chili joint, before getting a few hours of sleep, then catching our flight back to Vegas.

It was a great trip and the weather was very cooperative. Although not the challenges of mountains out west, these summits had their own unique flavor. Jason registered his first three state highpoints, and I ticked off three more, giving me 38. I had to hurry home to update my Peakbagger account!


Ed Forkos

Where were you born?
Chicago, IL

How long have you lived in Las Vegas?
14 years

What is your occupation?
Retired physician

How long have you been an LVMC member?
13 years

What is your favorite hike/climb?
The many wonderful sandstone scrambles in Red Rock, e.g. Pine Creek Peak, Oak Peak, White Pinnacle…..

What is the most challenging hike/climb you have done?
Polemonium in the Sierras

How did you get into hiking/climbing?
I started peakbagging/scrambling in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson when I was 10 years old; I was always attracted to the mountains from a young age.

What are your hobbies other than hiking/climbing?
Travel, foreign languages, medicine, classical music, film, cooking, continuing education…..and Luba.

Editor's Note: Ed teaches a very fine course for the Club entitled "Wilderness First Aid." Be sure to check it out next time it is offered.


President: Jose Witt
Vice President/Training Director: Richard Baugh
Secretary: Lynda Gallia
Treasurer:Nasrin Houston
Newsletter Editor: Joel Brewster
Outings Director: Christine Gal
Membership Director: Eric Kassan
Website Director: Amy Brewster
Public Relations/Marketing Directors: Doug Hladky
Club Gear Director: Richard Baugh
Social Director: Skip Spilman
Assistant Director: Heather Torrey
Past President: Kristi Meyer

The Ascender is the monthly online newsletter of the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club. All content is property of LVMC and may be used only by the original submitters. All others must obtain written consent from the Board of Directors.
All Club members are invited to submit trip reports, photos, trip listings, recipes, classified ads and other related information. There will be no December issue because of the holidays. January 10th is the deadline for the next issue.

Joel Brewster




Please send any address, phone number and e-mail changes to Eric Kassan, membership director. LVMC currently has approximately 140 paid members or families.

If you wish to send a check instead of using PayPal online, please make your check payable to the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club and mail to: P.O. Box 36026, Las Vegas, NV 89133-6026.
Single membership is $30 per year, $85 for three years. Family annual membership is $40, $110 for three years.

To the following members, please note that your membership will expire this month:

Sydney King
Kathy Wing
Doug Hladky
Tomasz Woloszyn
Lee Helstein
Nancy Lipski
Fernando Hernandez
Susan Nicaise
Erica Ortiz
Kim Miller
Dave Luttman


This club gear is available at no charge to members:

4-season tent
Bear Barrels
Alpine Axes*
Strap-on Crampons*


*Will require a signed waiver.

Non-members are not eligible to borrow club gear. Deposits taken on gear must be in the form of cash or check and will be returned upon return of equipment. Gear is also available to members for courses with no deposit required. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about club gear, please contact Richard Baugh.

Classified Ads
Members: Free
Non-members: $5

Business Ads
1/8 page (business card): $5
1/4 page: $10
1/2 page: $15
Full page: $20
All rates are per issue and will be discontinued automatically unless renewed. Ads must be prepaid and sent by e-mail or submitted on CD. Please make checks payable to Las Vegas Mountaineers Club.





The party is at the Baugh Manor (home of our own Richard Baugh).

Click here for information.
(You must be a member to access this information. Please email us if you have any questions.)

Be there or be square!


The Las Vegas Mountaineers meet on the 4th WEDNESDAY (not Tuesday) of the month at REI in Boca Park.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mount Timpanogos
Eric Kassan

Our very own Eric Kassan will share the two major trails to Mount Timpanogos, the 47th most prominent peak in the contiguous 48 states. Eric states that these hikes were the most beautiful of any of his summit hikes. Since Eric has 264 summits under his belt, this says a lot!




Friday, December 3, 2010


(Please see details in box above.)

LVMC | Contact | Calendar | Newsletters | Message Board | Join Us | Members Area

©2002-10 Las Vegas Mountaineers Club, all rights reserved.
Dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of the mountains.
Website Problems. Contact Us.